I know and I agree 100%. I can understand in certain situations if the performer looks like a child and they are facing the wrong person (ie. if Dom squashed Brock Lesnar), but 99% of the time its a stupid argument.
I’m very disappointed with the lack of build for Bucks/FTR 3. Month after month, WWE is proving the immense value of taking things slowly and building storylines to a crescendo. Meanwhile AEW is perpetually stuck in this slog of four month PPV periods and compartmentalizing all storylines within that structure.
Bucks vs FTR presents the easiest, most natural build to a match at Full Gear in November, but of course Tony has to rush to make a pretty looking card as soon as possible. It seems the plan is to make All In “THE BIGGEST SHOW EVAR” or whatever, but perhaps this is coming at the expense of having a long term storyline that draws viewers to your television program as well. I’m the resident noob of the “IWC” so maybe someone can explain, is this what people mean by “hotshot booking”? Sure feels like it.
My alternative plan would have been to simply drop hints between FTR and the Bucks over the next few weeks with a wink and a nod toward All In. While both parties have separate matches at the show, it’s kind of understood by fans that something will be happening at the PPV between the two, and then your shoot the angle. Then you’ve got a few months to build the program and the storyline properly before Full Gear. Instead it feels like we’re getting the chocolate sundae for dessert before we ever get to eat and enjoy the steak and broccoli main course.
Alright I’ll take the bait and be the sacrificial lamb on this one. Yes, I think a wrestler’s presentation still matters in 2023. I’m that guy.
It’s not that Cole shouldn’t have a role because he’s too small. I think standing next to MJF in a tag team playing the smaller, faster guy, Cole looks amazing. But as a main event singles wrestler who is supposedly head and shoulders better and tougher than everybody else in the promotion (in kayfabe) it’s kind of hard to accept the guy who looks like me and my gamer buddies in that position. It doesn’t mean you have to look like Brian Cage. Even someone like Ricochet isn’t the biggest guy but he’s ripped enough that you can buy into it.
It’s the same reason I prefer watching Rhea Ripley or Jamie Hayter over the likes of Alexa Bliss and Riho. Rhea and Jamie look like they could beat the piss out of half they guys on the roster. There’s something to be said for believability when you’re talking about singles wrestlers in the main event.
There’s a lot of hotshot booking in AEW. Not saying that has to be a bad thing, hot-shotting is basically what saved wrestling in the Attitude Era.
But they do a good job of balancing it out with good long-term stories, plus they hotshot matches that people want to see and that typically deliver in-ring.
Problem with WWE hot shotting in the Vince era, was that he would hot shot a fresh match and have it go 2min with a distraction finish. You can do that from time to time, but when its constant, its an issue.
Not having a 36-minute Jay Uso match automatically makes it many, many levels above Summerslam
There is a line, but I think guys like Rey have proven that if you are talented enough and you look somewhat credible, size doesnt matter. Now if you had Paul Heyman go toe to toe with Roman, yes that looks stupid lol. But Adam Cole looks like an athlete, just because he isnt jacked IMO doesnt hurt him one bit.
AEW doesn’t need storylines.
They help but it’s not needed. The audience isnt a WWE audience that has been conditioned to want storylines.
They can put on a killer match with no real build and their fans will care
FTR vs Briscoes
Omega vs Vikingo
Komander vs Jericho
Omega vs Osprey
BD vs Okada
Shida vs Toni
The fans want action more than storylines
In fairness, to appease their existing 800K fan base that watch week to week you’re probably right. But if they want to pass the 2mil mark like WWE, they may need to improve in this regard.
Yes for existing fans. I think 4 years in it’s pretty obvious they won’t grow the audience much.
I’ve showed AEW to some non fans or WWE fans. They saw the OC gimmick and asked my why a guy put his hands in his pockets to climb a ladder and changed the channel.
It’s not for everyone, much less so than WWE
To maintain what they’ve got, yeah. But to this point, they almost don’t have to book anything at all, right? People know that when they go to an AEW PPV it is going to be balls to the wall action and you are guaranteed to have a number of “holy shit” moments. I bought floor seats to Forbidden Door on this premise, not knowing any of the matches and frankly not knowing much about most of the Japanese talents I was going to see. I just knew it would be awesome.
For my tastes, I guess I would like more focus on storylines and a little less focus on non-stop “work rate” type action. That may not be typical of the average AEW fan, but that’s me. If you look at AEW in the last couple months, specifically with Collision, it certainly feels like they’ve been leaning more in my direction than they had in their first three years.
I’ll disagree here. And I certainly hope this isn’t the case. Dynamite has shrunk its viewership over the last year. They’ve literally run people off who used to watch regularly. So they could certainly at least grow back to the million viewers mark on a regular basis, which would be significant.
You compare that to WWE which has grown its business over the same time frame, thanks in large part to their engaging storylines which are captivating audiences. It could be argued that it would be harder for a larger company like WWE to grow its audience, as they have to essentially draw those fans from out of nowhere and require a bigger increase to have a measurable effect. If WWE is capable of growth during this period, why shouldn’t AEW hold itself to a similar standard?
Finally, if you look at the difference in average viewership between each company’s programming, you’re talking about well over a million people who are tuning into one but not the other. Either they’ve never heard of AEW, or simply don’t care to watch. You’ve gotta think at least some of those people could be won over without alienating the existing hardcore audience. And that would constitute growth.
To be clear, I like AEW and want it to succeed. Like all businesses, they’ve gotta grow and evolve with the times as well. They’re moving in the right direction it seems, but I do feel it’s a missed opportunity with the Bucks/FTR rush job.
Edit: fucking hell I’m writing essays out here. Sorry.
Rey is short but he’s still got some bulk to him. Even in the 90’s when he was smaller he was only going after the cruiserweight belt and was presented at a certain level, right? I’m not gonna beleaguer the point because I’m not trying to shit on the guy, but I don’t think it’s that outlandish for people to notice Cole’s physique compared to just about anyone on the roster.
WWE Rey did, WCW Ray was pretty small, but he also wrestled crusierweights so it didn’t show as much. You make a point, but Rey’s also very short, I believe 5’3.
Cole is small, but IMO his in ring more then makes up for it.
You aren’t wrong at all.
I’ll use an extreme example - Marko Stunt.
Even AEW had to realize at some point that he wasn’t credible as a real wrestler competing against guys 3 times his size. So they cut him and removed him.
I don’t think Adam Cole is that level but if a guy watching on TV thinks he can beat him up and this guy is beating Brock Lesnar - yeah it looks a little too silly.
Rey was an exception bc he was built and he had such amazing moves most people had not seen before.
Stunt definitely was past my line, I couldn’t take him seriously. Cole on the other hand I put in the same category as Rey.
I really don’t think the FTR vs Bucks are drawing in more fans.
4 years in and their audience is smaller by all accounts (Tv ratings, most house shows and interest) and WWE is bigger than it was before.
There was time they weee closing in and it’s gone in reverse.
I think the biggest difference is AEW was born out of people hating in WWE. It was a bunch of fans would grow into watching New Japan because they were tired of Vixnes WWE and this was the next extension of that.
I tuned in because I didn’t like WWE for years. I was hoping to have New Japan in America. It turns out that wasn’t what it was, there was too much silliness in the product for me versus new Japan, and less true athletic competition as they did away with rankings etc. So, in the end it was like a hybrid of silly indie style and new Japan, which is still fun to watch but not what I was expecting.
what really changed was WWE was no longer the uncool product. Starting with NXT in morphing into the Triple H WWE fundamentally change to become something that AEW fans don’t hate. They don’t make fun of WWE, in fact, they chant for LA Knight, and Roman reigns at their own shows.
There is proof in a collision rating this week. Way more overlap than there was four years ago with AEW and WWE Fans. It’s not like three or four years ago, where I doubt a summer slam, hurts to that degree. Now it’s not the AEW fans are rebelling against WWE, in fact, they seem to like both. And that’s always going to hurt the number two brand.
If I am a non-wrestling fan tuning in for the first time, why would I choose AEw over WWE? One has obviously better production value, bigger, stars, and better storylines. The other offers you better in ring acroon, blood and ties to Japan but you kind of have to know those annd already for that to matter. You also have to really like the blood in violence of which I’m not sure most people do - if they did this GCW crap would be more popular. it’s hard for a new wrestling fan to really think that product is better.
a few years ago I could’ve seen people picking AEW de novo because they didn’t like the incoherent WWE stuff that seems to have gone away.
WWE has a good product now. It’s hard to gain traction as the number 2 when they do
You watched it?
No chance. Zero interest in anything that long with those wrestlers. Everything I’ve read backs that up
I don’t really agree there. They have one hot storyline - the bloodline - which is now sputtering. They have nothing else major planned, which is why they are dragging this storyline along for as long as possible.
A lot more interesting stuff happening in AEW. MJF/Cole is red hot and now it feels like we are finally getting Punk/FTR vs the Elite.
OK, I just figured by the third or fourth swipe you’ve taken at it, you bothered to watch it first.